Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Replaced Autoprop with Flexofold
Very glad to hear you're pleased with the purchase. These are pricey items, even if less than a competitor, so I understand the anxiety. I have just a couple of things to consider, from your rundown.
I'm pretty sure the FOF literature says you don't need to grease them, but they work better if you do.
I don't understand why one would need to put a folding prop in reverse to get it to fold. That's usually necessary for a feathering prop, as the blades in forward pitch will windmill. Reverse causes them to feather, then you return the gear to neutral.
RPM in neutral is not a thing and is always different from under load. Your engine is rated for a max RPM, under load, and that's what it should make at wide open throttle. Look it up, if you're not sure what it's supposed to be. If it doesn't, it's usually prop pitch, but can be other factors too. Engine tachometers are notoriously out of calibration. A cheap $20 laser tach can confirm WOT rpm. Anything less than 100 rpm away from what says it's rated for should be fine.
Not sure what you mean by grinding, but it sounds more like the transmission than the prop. Motoring into waves can cause sudden decreases in speed, when the oncoming wave face pushes back. That can be very hard on a transmission. In those circumstances, it's best to either power down (the gear has more cushion to max tolerance, at lower horsepower input) or change your heading to reduce the affect.
Enjoy the new prop and the cruising!!
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.